BREAKING NEWS

Heywood Library friends hold book sale

Heywood Library friends hold book sale
05 Aug
10:15

GARDNER — It’s one of the most popular attractions during the city’s annual Experience Gardner Festival & Sidewalk Sale — the Friends of the Levi Heywood Memorial Library book sale. Hundreds of residents made their way to the two-day sale to browse through the thousands of donated titles available for purchase. The books are dropped off throughout the year and collected and sorted by dozens of library volunteers.

Steady rain Saturday morning made this year’s sale even more popular, as it was one of the few indoor Sidewalk Sale attractions. Friends member and volunteer Ann Ouellette said the library had seen a steady stream of book browsers looking for something good to read.

“Turnout has been wonderful,” she said. “Maybe the rain is helping us; last year it did.”

Kathy Cormier of Gardner was browsing through titles along with her two daughters Saturday morning.

“I’m looking for cheap mysteries for my mom,” she said, adding that her daughters were becoming interested in science fiction. “These are good, cheap books and this (sale) benefits the library.”

Library Director Kathleen Leslie said the August book sale fundraiser is one of two the library hosts each year, the other one which is held in February.

“It’s always a new selection of books,” she explained, adding that a special preview sale for Friends of the Library members is typically held the night before the sale is officially opened to the public. “That usually brings a lot of people in, dealers particularly,” she said. “I think anyone who is interested in collecting books, this is a great way to do it.”

Deb Stephenson of Gardner came armed with a list of titles she was interested in buying.

“I look for romance novels, specific ones, and they’re cheap, and I love coming and buying all the books I want,” she said, adding that she had been coming to the library book sales for years. “You can find all the books that you can’t usually buy elsewhere.”

Can library officials detect any trends in the reading interests of Chair City residents by looking at which titles were popular sellers at the book sale? Not necessarily, explained Leslie, who said local readers seemed interested in a wide variety of topics.

“Everything is popular,” she said. “What appeals to one person isn’t going to be another person’s cup of tea, but we have something for everyone — fiction, non-fiction, even Harlequin Romances.” Leslie did note, however, that biographies remain consistently popular over the years.

“They always love non-fiction,” added Ouellette.

Library officials said volunteers put a lot of work into sorting the books to make browsing as easy as possible for shoppers.

“A lot of the popular authors get sorted out into their own little areas, so that people who love Grisham, for example, can go directly to that table,” Leslie said. New to this year’s sale was an improved display method. “The books are laid out in specialized boxes and lined up so it’s a lot more orderly,” she said, who added that donated books are collected and sorted throughout the year.

Leslie said she enjoyed joining the browsers during the sale to find something new to put on her bookstand.

“I’m always reminded when I look over the tables of how much there is that I want to read that I haven’t read yet.”

Each book sale event usually raises around $5,000, which officials said goes toward paying for items not included in the library’s regular budget.

“The Friends have been very generous with us and bought us new staff computers and photocopiers,” Leslie said. “Equipment like that, higher priced equipment that we wouldn’t have in our budget ordinarily.”

There are about 500 members of the Friends of the Library, and organizers said many of them volunteered to help host the book sale.

Leslie said books leftover from the weekend’s sale will not be kept for future book sale events. Instead, she said the remaining titles will be donated to outside organizations.

“We have various institutions who come in and recycle, repurpose or somehow use (the books) so they don’t have to be thrown away, because we don’t like to see books thrown away,” she explained.

Source: http://www.thegardnernews.com/news/20180805/heywood-library-friends-hold-book-sale

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